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PC Magazine: Solving the Patent Problem

Mar 14, 2000, 19:54 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sharon Nash)

"Amazon.com is by no means the only company encountering patent problems. eBay faces a lawsuit over its use of database technology. Microsoft has caused a furor by patenting some of its stylesheet technology. MultiTech Systems is suing Compaq, Dell, and Gateway over voice- and data-transmission patents. Priceline.com is suing Microsoft's Expedia.com over its reverse auction technique. And Yahoo! is dealing with a suit over its online shopping system."

"...O'Reilly is still deeply concerned about the danger of patents--and their strict enforcement--on Web innovation. 'The free-wheeling development environment has given us both the Internet and open source tools like Linux, Perl, Apache, MySQL, Sendmail, and so on. This has demonstrated convincingly that there is enormous power in an open, shared platform where ideas are given away as the foundation for further innovations,' writes O'Reilly."

"Many industry insiders agree that the concept of companies taking out patents on their technology is not necessarily dangerous to innovation, but aggressive enforcement of those patents may be."

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